A deposition is a common tool used by attorneys to discover information about a case. Should your case be heading towards trial, it is likely you will have your deposition taken. This causes stress for many clients, who have already been through a lot when it comes to their injuries and medical treatment. Here are a few ways to make your deposition runs as smooth as possible, with little to no stress.
First, prepare. Your attorney should talk with you prior to your deposition to review the important facts of your case. The attorney should direct your attention to relevant documents and allow you time to review and ask questions. Most importantly, be sure to get plenty of sleep the night prior to your deposition.
Second, approach the situation professionally. You should aim for business casual attire. Think of what you would wear to church or to holiday gatherings. You do not need to dress in a 3 piece suit or a designer dress, but you should avoid shorts, t-shirts, caps, etc. Also, be sure to speak calmly and clearly while giving your answers. The goal is for the opposing attorney to walk away from the deposition intimidated about your ability to connect with a jury should your case go to trial.
Third, do not offer any information that is not asked of you. If the question leaves room for a “yes” or “no” answer, then answer “yes” or “no.” We want to avoid volunteering any additional information that the opposing attorney may not have been prepared to ask for. Many attorneys will stay silent after you answer a question, which can become very uncomfortable and prompt you to keep talking. Try and avoid this if at all possible.
Lastly, tell the truth. You are testifying under oath. A lie could have serious ramifications. Further, at your trial, you cannot contradict the testimony you gave at your deposition. Telling the truth is critical. Many clients will worry about “bad facts,” and try to weasel around them during their deposition. Do not task yourself with doing so – that is your attorney’s job.
If you feel nervous or uneasy leading up to your deposition, review this list of tips and consult with your attorney.
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